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Here's a chronicle of life on a plot of land right smack in the suburbs in Minnesota, whose owners would much prefer to be in the middle of nowhere.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tonight's episode of "I just don't get it, man": Showers, poop, and why I am mom enough

It seems to be the popular meme these days that parents don't get to eliminate waste by themselves or take showers. Really? No, really.

I'm on my third/fourth babies. Aside from the times where I cannot take a tantrum about something so silly (okay, so, a tiny baby might think I have disappeared off the face of the Earth, but I'm pretty sure my three year old understands I still exist, since he's capable of pounding on the door once I've closed it) as being separated from one's mother while she drops trou, I was and am capable of shoving a small person out the bathroom and locking the door so that I can take a dump. For those people who won't put a screaming baby down long enough to poop, I say, "Really? So you can hold it until they're happy and not following you into the bathroom? When is that, when they're in grade school? Enjoy your constipation!"

I might sound like a Kellogg brother, but I think regular poops are a foundation of health. It's just not healthy to force your body to hang onto waste products because you'd rather not let your baby yell for five minutes in a bouncy chair. If it makes you feel better, you could put the bouncy chair in the bathroom with you (though Ina May will tell you that if you're tense, your sphincter isn't going to relax, so maybe you should opt for earplugs instead).

And showers! I love showers. Showers transform me from an unwashed, stinky beast to a glowingly clean human being. Showers separate us from our ape ancestors. I bet if apes got showers on a regular basis, they'd so be using forks instead of sticks to eat their termites. Not everyone prioritizes showers the way I do, but since they keep coming up in discussion, I imagine that the general consensus is that showering occasionally is a nice thing. So why are people (by which I mean mothers) going days or weeks without showering when they have an infant? If we were in such a daze we forgot to shower, we probably wouldn't remember with such vividness, years later, that we did not get to shower often. Showers apparently mean something, in and of themselves or as a metaphor.

I imagine that most mothers are not alone with their children 24/7. I will even go so far as to say that they probably have another adult in the house at least half of a 24-hour period. What is preventing you from handing someone else your baby and jumping in the freaking shower? I can't imagine that I'm the only person who feels that getting clean is a restorative experience, and knowing just how restorative that is for me—truly, I am a better mother if I take a few minutes to wash my hair. It's probably worth it to set your baby(ies) down, even if (s)he (they) is (are)* unhappy, if you experience even a fraction of a degree of sanity from it.

Maybe it is simply a badge of honor. One receives the Purple HeartButt for bravery in combatmotherhood if one holds in ones poo rather than allowing Junior to cry outside of loving arms while you pinch off a loaf. There is a special place in heaven, no doubt with endless showers and chocolate (maybe not in that order, since if you swim in a vat of chocolate pudding you'll want a shower after), for those mothers who sacrificed bathing rather than force Lil' Susie to be held by the hairy, smelly one who does not have milky boobs (aka "Daddy"). "I AM MOM ENOUGH because I sacrifice even my personal hygiene at the altar of my baby."

Yeah, we know you're mom enough. We can smell you all the way across the room.

*They never tell you how complicated writing in a general manner becomes once you have twins. You suddenly become aware of the subtle pro-singleton slant** on everything and feel compelled to fight against it. They need to put this in the books.

**Reading the Kellymom.com Facebook page today: There's a question about how you take care of your big kids when you have a baby. Cue lots of comments about babywearing. That's great. IF YOU HAVE ONE BABY. TWO AND YOU'RE SCREWED.

1 comment:

  1. oh i shower. i just do it with four children at my feet...lately though they've lost interest, but yah...it was kind of crazy there for awhile. :) i feel you on the older kids/baby questioning...tho the 'real' twin moms will tell you you can wear two...lol.



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